Learning approach key studies

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  • Learning Approach Studies
    • Pavlov 1927
      • he demonstrated classical conditioning in dogs using the sound of a bell as the neutral stimulus and a bowl of meat powder as the unconditioned stimulus.
      • -before the experiment the dogs would salivate in response to food -during conditioning the bell was rung when meat presented -after many trials the dogs would salivate to the bell alone, become a conditioned stimulus
      • evaluation
        • tightly controlled conditions, he ensured there was no other stimuli present which could make dogs salivate. so, higher internal validity as the
          • IV has caused the DV by controlling the extraneous variables. this control also makes it easier to replicate and test the findings.
        • Pavlov collected the dogs saliva using saliometer which gave him objective, quantative way of seeing dogs salivating
          • BUT, this is very unethical, the dogs saliometer surgery meant they could never swallow any food and several died
        • cant generalise findings to humans, the human brain is more complex than of dogs
    • Skinner 1953
      • designed an apparatus called a 'Skinner box'. this a controlled environment where an animal is placed,
        • there is a lever which delivers food when pressed, or it gives electric shock when pressed. (two types of box, positive and punishment)
      • when a rat is placed in the Skinner box it explores the new environment. they will accidentally press the lever and get some food, the rat learns the connection between the action and the consequence and the frequency of the action increases. pressing the lever is positively reinforced.
        • also experimented with unpleasant stimuli, such as loud noises which would stop if the lever was pressed. (negative reinforcement)
      • evaluation
        • carried out under tightly controlled conditions. he ensured there was no other stimuli present that could affect animals behaviour (kept socially isolated)
        • cant  generalise findings to humans, human brain is more complex than rats and therefore have a more complex cognitive processes

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